The Point of Goblins?

Share and discuss strategies for playing the game, and get help and tips from other players.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

User avatar
Hulavuta
Posts: 1668
Joined: October 11th, 2008, 8:17 pm
Location: United States

The Point of Goblins?

Post by Hulavuta » February 11th, 2010, 1:50 am

These units are probably the weakest of all the units, (plus Bats) I really don't see the point of these units.

While Bats, and additionally Saurian Skirmishers have high movement, making good village grabbers, I don't see the point of the and Goblins. Walking Corpses, although weaker, at least have the plague special, so they can spread zombie armies, but what good are goblins for? They have a somewhat decent attack, but not enough hitpoints to survive the enemies turn, and could possibly die during the counter attacks! They don't get normal traits, only crappy ones like "weak" and "slow."

Now, this is not a rant, but a question: What is the point of the Goblins? I understand that being level 0, they don't give out a good experience amount to your enemies, but what else?
F:tGJ, Saurian Campaign
The Southern Chains, a fanfic
“The difference between winners and champions is that champions are more consistent."
~Sierra

User avatar
Zarel
Posts: 700
Joined: July 15th, 2009, 8:24 am
Location: Minnesota, USA
Contact:

Re: The Point of Goblins?

Post by Zarel » February 11th, 2010, 2:03 am

No upkeep. And they're cheap.
Proud creator of the :whistle: smiley | I prefer the CC-0 license.

Velensk
Multiplayer Contributor
Posts: 3984
Joined: January 24th, 2007, 12:56 am

Re: The Point of Goblins?

Post by Velensk » February 11th, 2010, 2:10 am

Goblins have a number of uses.

-Level 0s do not cost upkeep. This is important to the northerners whose style naturally tends toward rapidly increasing upkeep.
-They do incredible damage for their cost. They are fragile and die very easilly but 6-3 damage actually would put them on par with grunts if it wern't for traits.
-They do peircing damage. This means that under the right conditions they can counter loyalist cavalry or do significant damage agaisnt drakes.
-They level quickly. Their high damage makes it so that it isn't that hard to feed them kills.

As an added bonus they have a ranged attack which is useful for accumulating xp without taking any damage.

Their use depends on how your enemy plays however they are not something that you would generally create your front line out of but rather a way of racking up your ability to do damage without increasing your upkeep. I find that it is best to use them if the enemy uses ranged units because this gives them targets they can attack without taking as much retaliation. After wolves and archers I generally give these units the highest priority for kills.

EDITED to clear out an aborted scentance.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

silent
Posts: 244
Joined: February 20th, 2009, 5:53 am

Re: The Point of Goblins?

Post by silent » February 11th, 2010, 2:15 am

level 0 spam, if left unchecked, can become very deadly vs most factions, due to sheer numerical force and damage output.

Also goblins are probably the only good answer the orcs have at actually killing loyalist cavalry. Even at night, 2 orcish archers need all 6 strikes to kill cavalry, and 2 archers cannot kill RI or RS cavalry/horsemen (resilient intelligent and resilient strong respectively) at all if at full health, due to at night having 7-3 damage output.

Goblin spearmen on the other hand, assuming slow or dim (weak makes them the same as archers), have a 9-3 damage output vs cavalry/horsemen so 2 goblins only need 5/6 strikes to kill any sort of level 1 mounted unit of the loyalists at night.

There are many more examples no doubt, but this is one of the most important, I would think, as cavalry are a real pain for orcs to deal with, due to their speed and good resistances.

Eskon
Posts: 184
Joined: August 12th, 2008, 2:21 pm
Location: Esslingen, Germany

Re: The Point of Goblins?

Post by Eskon » February 11th, 2010, 4:25 am

Goblins are also more reliable than grunts at killing, with one more strike to their name. A true "goblin spam" is unlikely to be very successful, but having one or two of them around definitely doesn't hurt. They also happen to have the best gold to damage conversion rate of any unit across all the factions (9 gold for 17 average potential damage; nothing comes even close to matching this). They are glass cannons - you should keep them behind your lines.

Tonepoet
Posts: 184
Joined: November 18th, 2005, 2:54 pm
Contact:

Re: The Point of Goblins?

Post by Tonepoet » February 11th, 2010, 7:49 am

I dunno: I'd say the pierce damage can be useful but most units who're weak to it have a decent melee attack, so they just simply kill the goblin outright on retaliation when I try. The hit point to cost ratio is far too high to use as an anti-scout security system or emergency backup force now too in my own opinion. The lack of upkeep means that just by merely having them around can give you an economical edge and an efficient economy, which is more or less everything to Northerners. Still their lack of immediate utility makes it so that this is only useful in really rather slow game though so I'd advise against them until the early middle of the game, so you can see if your tries to play a coy enough defense in order to warrant their purchase.

Other players have always treated their goblins as something of a subunit though. Something to take a very minimal risk at finishing something off with or something to use as a lure to get bigger level 1 units off of higher terrain. It's good to remember that for these purposes, that trading away a single 8 or 9 gold level zero is always a good trade in exchange for one of the 14g+ level ones you'll likely find littering your fights against at least four of the six other factions. That's the theory anyway: I personally find such tactics rather wasteful to attempt when you could just invest in more stronger units fighting a bit more powerfully for a much more solid gain. Still, I must admit, the idea can work out rather nicely and the flexibility it adds to your array of options is also quite nice.

Finally, I feel obliged to mention that killing off high exp. opponents by chaining level zeroes is always satisfying. However it's also rather opportunistic and rather dependent on them being at the right place at the right time, so it's more of a bonus as opposed to a primary purpose really.
Htonsew Rof Elttab Eht is just too cool for school. I've got no words to describe it. Have any of you guys tried it? ;-)

siowy
Posts: 29
Joined: April 18th, 2008, 10:12 am

Re: The Point of Goblins?

Post by siowy » February 11th, 2010, 10:58 am

goblins are good against several units and i use them.

sometimes i recruit them and send them in pairs, making sure they have the same speed.

i find their best use is sitting on villages or blocking out tiles.
i play as foreverfighter on official server and ladder

Huumy
Posts: 292
Joined: October 15th, 2009, 9:52 pm

Re: The Point of Goblins?

Post by Huumy » February 11th, 2010, 11:07 am

Sometimes in the caves of the basilisk you can leave a single goblin standing in the water village if you dont want to recruit naga.
"And the girl that you want is directly out in front, And she’s waving her caboose at you, You sneeze achoo, She calls you out and boom!"
The offspring, trolling you since forever.

User avatar
Hulavuta
Posts: 1668
Joined: October 11th, 2008, 8:17 pm
Location: United States

Re: The Point of Goblins?

Post by Hulavuta » February 11th, 2010, 11:27 am

Okay, I see some uses, but the problem I have with Goblins is the same I have with the Walking Corpses: why use these guys to kill? I think the experience should go to my guys who would get higher levels, and with that, higher strength.

I see the uses of the goblin, but their hitpoints are pretty low, they can be killed in direct battle, possibly even by one attacker.

Now, instead of the uses for Goblins, what are some good strategies to use goblins and keep them alive?
F:tGJ, Saurian Campaign
The Southern Chains, a fanfic
“The difference between winners and champions is that champions are more consistent."
~Sierra

User avatar
Megaprimetron
Posts: 20
Joined: January 12th, 2010, 12:17 pm

Re: The Point of Goblins?

Post by Megaprimetron » February 11th, 2010, 12:11 pm

I make a few when battling undead, they are wonderful for going into dangerous hexes to maul adepts. They can also be used to wall off a naga or other things i don't want an adept reaching. No "zone of control" makes them lesser then grunts for this, but they are still good at it. Especially as a team with a grunt, placing the goblin 2 hexes away allows for the grunts "zone of control" to cover the path between them for a nice effect.
______________________________
/ --------This is a temple-- --------\
\for the random number generator/
/=====Place sacrifices below=====\
-------------------------------------------

Huumy
Posts: 292
Joined: October 15th, 2009, 9:52 pm

Re: The Point of Goblins?

Post by Huumy » February 11th, 2010, 3:57 pm

Is there actual strategies in wesnoth? I usually just scout what and where my opponent has and play according to it.

Tho some from the beginning planned rushes in the den of onis seem to work ok, in that map you can send like 2-4 units (depends on faction) to the side where your opponent has 1 village and try keep the middle.
Last time I played orcs in den of onis I send 2grunts, 1assassin and 1GOBLIN to steal the village... worked fine.
"And the girl that you want is directly out in front, And she’s waving her caboose at you, You sneeze achoo, She calls you out and boom!"
The offspring, trolling you since forever.

Yoyobuae
Posts: 408
Joined: July 24th, 2009, 8:38 pm

Re: The Point of Goblins?

Post by Yoyobuae » February 11th, 2010, 4:41 pm

Huumy wrote:Is there actual strategies in wesnoth? *snip*
Are you serious? :shock:

I don't think I've played any other game that was packed with so much strategic depth.

I'm gonna take as an example my last ladder match (Replay). It was Drakes (me) vs Northerners. After typical village grab stage I scouted my opponent and noticed he had lots of goblins (and assasins).

I already had an Augur from initial recruits to mitigate poison, so I focused on dealing with goblin masses. For this I got Clashers obviously, but also a Burner to attack with minimal retaliation. Later I got one or another Fighter as reinforcement because they can reach the front line a bit easier.

My strategy was simple. Goblins aren't the best unit to be recruiting for an offensive on the first night, so I need not worry about my lawful drakes being attacked during those turns. He will have the upkeep advantage, though. So I needed to take the offensive on the daytime turns afterward.

Northerners will have lots of trouble to deal enough damage to kill my drakes, specially at daytime. Not only that, but with my opponent relying so much on goblins, he wont have as many units that are good to guard villages.

The plan was to steal a village, or two if possible, and make as many kills as possible. As my drakes get damaged I cycle them and prevent the enemy from making any kills in return. Clashers were vital at this, since a full health one will be very hard to kill for northies.

Things worked great, I managed 10+ kills with no losses during day. But I made a good few mistakes afterwards. I focused every single unit into the daytime attack and I mantained this offensive for too long, even my leader was committed on the attack. One Wolf escaped and managed a few village steals. Also the lack of reinforcements, together with the too prolonged attacked made the retreat quite painful, lost too many units there.

It all comes to show that Wesnoth is not only about who fights better and makes more kills. Village stealing and coordination with ToD, and many more factors are also important. But players need to accumulate the experience to be able to gauge the effects all these factors have on the battle.

Tonepoet
Posts: 184
Joined: November 18th, 2005, 2:54 pm
Contact:

Re: The Point of Goblins?

Post by Tonepoet » February 11th, 2010, 7:29 pm

If you actually want to keep them alive, which is a bit contrary to their purpose as sacrificial lambs that they seem to be intended for I'd suggest reading up on how to protect Ulfserkers a bit. Despite having an entirely different build, the Ulfserker ends up having similar fragility, sacrificial tendency, is generally considered to be a one use unit and even exp. denial potential due to the Berserk weapon special. However because it costs 19g, some people do try to protect them better, so they can be healed. Essentially the part you're most interested is the whole how to kill and cover bit, which can be rather detailed.

Don't worry about exp. too much unless you've got a particular standout unit, most units don't level up even once in a multiplayer match, let alone twice: Kills are usually more important unless a unit gets in the white. If you're not reassured by this, keep in mind that Goblins don't take much exp. to level up. Therefore presuming you actually can keep them alive, improving them further should be rather easy. Once the first one is leveled, it'll probably spend more time leading other goblins and if you get another to make into an Impaler, you can always use it to soften things in place of a Grunt up as opposed to giving it a finishing blow. In campaigns, I'd just generally suggest against goblins because even when leveled, they're probably not worth recalling.

Wesnoth is much more of a tactical game, than a strategic one, I'd say. If you know what does what for what reasons and several specialized plays, then you can really fight battles with an opportunist mindset rather easily. Making a long term series of objectives is quite a fair bit harder because it depends partially upon what your opponent does and partially upon the battle outcomes going as expected. Still many aspects of the game can change short term strategic goals. Terrain and especially villages give the players something to position themselves upon or fight over and varying unit costs even further the goals. Time of Day gives the game a sort of timing as to when one should take attacking or defensive positions. Zone of Control gives the game a way to set up formations which a very careful and keen analytical eye to set up or take down. Unit costs and economics naturally play a role too, though it often often backseat to sheer kill ratios except in very specialized cases. With all of this in mind, I feel it should be clear that a better strategic mindset will always give you an edge in battle. Still, it's not like Chess where you can effectively plan likely plays out ten turns in advanced to achieve objective superiority: It's a lot more vague than that really, so you often have to adjust to circumstance, which I think is a rather good thing really. It gives the game a lot of variation. On that note, this is why if you haven't already that you should get into the habit of moving one unit at a time, even if you think you already know what you want them to do: it allows you to reallocate resources dependent on the situation a bit more easily.
Htonsew Rof Elttab Eht is just too cool for school. I've got no words to describe it. Have any of you guys tried it? ;-)

Yogibear
Retired Developer
Posts: 1086
Joined: September 16th, 2005, 5:44 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany

Re: The Point of Goblins?

Post by Yogibear » February 11th, 2010, 8:01 pm

Hulavuta wrote:Okay, I see some uses, but the problem I have with Goblins is the same I have with the Walking Corpses: why use these guys to kill? I think the experience should go to my guys who would get higher levels, and with that, higher strength.
As has already been said, goblins have an amazing damage potential for a level 0. Now, if you manage to level one of those into a goblin rouser you get leadership - believe me, your gobo's have been pretty good already, but now they become killer machines.
Smart persons learn out of their mistakes, wise persons learn out of others mistakes!

Huumy
Posts: 292
Joined: October 15th, 2009, 9:52 pm

Re: The Point of Goblins?

Post by Huumy » February 11th, 2010, 9:02 pm

Huumy wrote:
Is there actual strategies in wesnoth? *snip*
read or atleast quote the whole idea...
Is there actual strategies in wesnoth? I usually just scout what and where my opponent has and play according to it.

I'm gonna take as an example my last ladder match (Replay). It was Drakes (me) vs Northerners. After typical village grab stage I scouted my opponent and noticed he had lots of goblins (and assasins).

I already had an Augur from initial recruits to mitigate poison, so I focused on dealing with goblin masses. For this I got Clashers obviously, but also a Burner to attack with minimal retaliation. Later I got one or another Fighter as reinforcement because they can reach the front line a bit easier.

My strategy was simple. Goblins aren't the best unit to be recruiting for an offensive on the first night, so I need not worry about my lawful drakes being attacked during those turns. He will have the upkeep advantage, though. So I needed to take the offensive on the daytime turns afterward.

Northerners will have lots of trouble to deal enough damage to kill my drakes, specially at daytime. Not only that, but with my opponent relying so much on goblins, he wont have as many units that are good to guard villages.
Isn't this whole segment reacting to "What and where your opponent has" ???

The plan was to steal a village, or two if possible, and make as many kills as possible. As my drakes get damaged I cycle them and prevent the enemy from making any kills in return. Clashers were vital at this, since a full health one will be very hard to kill for northies.
Imo this is the closest your example gets to strategy.
no offense but somehow things like missquote and comments "Are you serious? (random smiley)" just gets me so serious that I read your whole post.
"And the girl that you want is directly out in front, And she’s waving her caboose at you, You sneeze achoo, She calls you out and boom!"
The offspring, trolling you since forever.

Post Reply